Lesotho vulnerable to climate change


BBC reporting guru says country on vulnerable top 14


MOHALE’S HOEK – Lesotho is among the world’s top 14 countries that are vulnerable and are expected to experience severe climate change impact, warns BBC climate change media expert James Stewart. Stewart has been a journalist for 30 years, working for newspapers, periodicals, radio and TV.

He is a broadcast trainer for journalists from across the developing world. His involvement in training journalists began when he ran a BBC radio school in Bucharest, Romania in 1994. He has since run courses in several central and east European countries and in Indonesia.

In 1996 he was seconded to BBC World Service as Manager of Overseas Training and has also trained journalist in Africa on environment and climate change reporting.

Steward says Lesotho is the 14th country that will be experiencing severe climate change impact because it already has extreme weather conditions that among others include drought, severe rains and cold weathers.

He again pointed out that Lesotho is sits at number 51 out of all countries in the world in terms of climate change adaptation and preparedness thus a call for immediate action.

According to him, Lesotho is not part of the problem as it does not contribute much towards climate change but very unfortunate that it is at the firing line, therefore there is nothing much that it can do ease climate change.

He said what Lesotho can do is focus on mitigation and adaptation measures to ensure that the effects of climate change do not hit hard on the nation.

Steward said in trying to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming, which causes climate change, Lesotho can opt for using solar energy and stop using electrical energy that it currently uses that it exports from South Africa, Eskom as it uses coal to produce the electricity.

He said burning of coal emits some gases that cause global warming, emphasizing that if Lesotho stops importing electricity from South Africa, Eskom will not have to produce more, hence reduction in carbon emissions.

“Lesotho is not part of the problem and there is not much it can do to reduce greenhouse emissions. It is big countries like the US, China, India and European countries with big firms that emit lots of greenhouse gases that cause global warming,” he said.

He further indicated that a lot of people in Lesotho are not informed about climate change, particularly farmers. He said farmers are aware that things have changed and there is a

problem. He said this they see through drought and severe rains they experience, however, are not informed on what the actual problem is.

He, however, noted that few that are aware and informed about climate change and adaptation measures do not have resources to change their ways of farming and unaware of grants that might be available for farmers.

These, he said during a media training workshop on climate change reporting hosted by the World Food Program(WFP) in partnership with the Ministry of Forestry, Range and Soil Conservation and Lesotho Meteorological Services which are also implementing entity and executives of the Improving Adaptive Capacity of Vulnerable and Food Insecure Population in Lesotho (IACOV) project.

Addressing journalists at the workshop the IACOV project coordinator, Nkopo Matsepe, noted that IACOV is a four years’ project which started in October 2020 and expected to come to an end in 2024.

He said the project intends to address the barriers of climate change adaptation by strengthening capacity of the government on early warning signs while insuring that optimal knowledge and utilization of climate information tailored to community needs.

He said through the project, communities will be empowered to plan and implement appropriate resilience building activities that will transform lives and diversify livelihoods.

He added that the project focuses mainly on women and children that are most vulnerable and affected by climate change and have no means to survive.

Matsepe said WFP assists the government with focused financing and other resources that will ensure that livelihoods are restored.

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